Quillifer Contest!

by wjw on October 9, 2017

Quillifer_comp_medPaul Di Filippo wrote a lovely review of Quillifer for Locus Online.   Here’s your takeaway:

” . . . chockful of derring-do, blood and thunder, swashbuckling, and other good stuff evocative of Rafael Sabatini, Sir Walter Scott, and the penny-bloods: venomous and dangerous court politesse, reversals, betrayals, cowardice, heroism, illicit sex, allegorical theatrical productions, dangerous hunting expeditions, privateering and, at last, open warfare against the forces of Clayborne. During all of these excursions, Quillifer maintains his admirable sangfroid and cheek, never quite a full hero, but never a total antihero either. Despite Orlanda’s presence, it’s not precisely a tale of Swords and Sorcery. Rather, you might dub it Rogues and Rogering.” 

Rogues and Rogering?  Gotta like that.  Since I invented Swords and Singularity with Implied Spaces, I now seem responsible for a couple of subgenres.

Gary K. Wolfe also wrote a laudatory review in Locus, but it’s not online so I can’t link to it.  In it, he mentions a Donald Barthelme story about a National Writer’s Examination in which participants are required to come up with four archaic words for “sword.”

So let’s do that!  Give me four archaic words for sword, and the three best lists will win a free audiobook of Quillifer.

En Garde!

{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

Paul Weimer October 9, 2017 at 8:09 pm

Four archaic words for sword:


Henry Farrell October 9, 2017 at 8:21 pm

Rogues and Rogering?

Firkins and merkins?

d October 9, 2017 at 10:01 pm

Here’s four: stoneless, rapacitator, kuchitana, & slicelad.

Do you like them? I just made them up. They will be archaic one day.

Etaoin Shrdlu October 10, 2017 at 5:46 am

Poniard is the only one I can think of offhand. Which is ok, since I’m not an audiobook type of guy anyway.

But rogering? (Or should that be “butt rogering”?) That’s something done to cabin boys, not noble sluts.

-dsr- October 10, 2017 at 6:07 am

Four ancient cultures with swords:


and one still in use: parang.

Ace Hamilton October 10, 2017 at 11:22 am

Kopis, spatha, jian, dha arranged in order to flow best when spoken aloud!


Mangrove Throatwarbler October 10, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Four ancient(ish) words for sword:


Jess Grant October 11, 2017 at 5:07 pm


wjw October 11, 2017 at 10:30 pm

I knew that “glaive” and “falchion” would appear! Surprised there were no bastard swords.

Thanks, everyone, for participating! Winners are Paul Weimer, d (for getting into the spirit of the novel), and Mangrove, for “spadroon.” Because you can’t have too many spadroons.

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